Do We Really Want Christianity To Become A Hated Minority?

By: Tia Johnson 0 Comments   12/11/2013

For most of history since the flood, Christians have been a hated minority. Believers were laughed off in Noah's day.

The prophets were rejected during Israel's height. Jesus was despised by many.

Christians were imprisoned by Saul and several Bible translators have been killed.

We’ve been blessed in the United States to have been spared much of this suffering; since our Constitution was established those who attend church have been in the majority.

However, it's safe to say that during the past few decades Christianity has become a minority religion in the United States- especially if you take into account the number of people who are authentically committed to Jesus Christ.

Though a minority, however, Christians continue to be a group of people who, though rejected, despised, and threatened throughout history, continue to thrive. Yes, they’ve become hated by many because of strong counter-cultural convictions, but the world’s hatred cannot stomp out the work of God. Christians continue to believe and speak despite today’s risks.

Some have confessed with their mouths and walked through fire for it. Chris Broussard and Craig James are two sports commentators/broadcasters who've experienced persecution for speaking on their beliefs. Craig James was released from his position, though the reasons he was terminated are under dispute. Both cases centered on the Biblical view of marriage, where disagreement with culture has been arrogantly constituted as “hate.”

John Blake of CNN wrote an article about Christian beliefs being labeled as “hate speech.” He referred to Joe Carter’s wording of “orthodox” to describe churches who teach that homosexuality is a sin. Wow, since when did these churches fall under the “orthodox” category? To some, evangelicals are considered “extremists.” But come to think of it, the disciples were also labeled so by their society, weren’t they?

It just seems that this shouldn’t be happening today- not in the United States. Aren’t we the nation that used to send out missionaries? Now, we need the missionaries to come to us “silent” believers.

In Blake’s article, Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council described a common occurrence when he speaks of Biblical marriage verses homosexuality: people often raise their hands to publically challenge the Bible’s stand. The Bible-believer, however, remains silent until he can whisper in the ear of Sprigg, “'I agree with everything you said.'”

I have found this to be true in my own writing recently. My letters to the editor in my local paper have yielded many private “Horrahs” from people who discreetly pull me aside at gatherings. But when I watch for letters supporting those views in the paper, I find myself alone.

I can’t be heartless and say I don’t understand why people don’t write or speak louder, because I’ve been there. It’s downright frightening to open your mouth (or pen) knowing you’ll be challenged. Some of us are unprepared for this and would benefit from some deep study of God’s word and apologetics. But even then, a certain degree of rejection is expected.

But then you look at Jesus, Paul, John the Baptist and John the disciple, and countless missionaries who risked more than their reputation-they risked their lives. They spoke not because they were living for themselves and this life, but because they had hope in so much more.

Andree Seu wrote of the importance of not just believing, but also speaking of your faith. (I first read this article in a magazine four years ago and had pulled out its page to save. My one-year-old then tore it into small fragments, yet its message meant so much to me that I taped the pieces back together. Read it if you can.)

In her article “Silent Betrayal” which appeared in World Magazine, she wrote: “You do not tell your lover in private how awesome he is, and then act embarrassed about him in public. This would not be called discretion but betrayal.” Seu referred to the popular scripture Romans 10:9: “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” She stressed the importance of not just believing, but also speaking, as part of our identity as a Christian. These two components cannot be separated nor can one be diminished more than the other. It also supports why Jesus had said “But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.”

I like how Andree Seu described the opposite of confession as sometimes called “discretion.” How often have I kept my mouth closed in the name of “discretion,” when really I was just afraid?! It’s fearful to speak when your opinion is hotly out-numbered and may lead to rejection by the men and women near me. Yet how dare I place this rejection ahead of the rejection of God!

So, are we willing to risk the label of being a hated minority? Yes-- not with demeaning or disrespectful words but with words that demonstrate order and respect. As 2 Timothy 1:7-8 says, "For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.  So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God."

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